I am coming in cold this morning. And not from the weather. I have not read many of my recent mail. Afraid to touch them. But I was going to suggest, tentatively again, we try...
To me, it seems strange to have to say this. Bad People, it seems to me, are not really the problem in this world. Everybody knows them. And deals with them as they should be dealt...
Most American Muslim Communities, and others, seem to have reduced the blessed and powerful educational and motivational opportunity of the Jum'ah Khutbah into an empty space, into some kind of a meaningless ritual, without purpose and without direction...
...today we also hear the echoes of this Khutbah in the constitution of practically every government of the world that may wish to be considered a civilized government...
Islam is a Deen of Ilm.
That means Islam is a Deen of knowledge, and science, and education, and scholarship, and research, and inquiry.
And Islam is a Deen of Fikr.
That means Islam is a Deen of thinking, and reflection, and analysis, and understanding.
Muslims have largely ritualized Islam. And they have taken all life and functionality and effectiveness from some of the most powerful tools of Islamic education, motivation and regeneration such as Jum'ah Khutbah that God Almighty gave them.
As a result, many if not most Jum'ah Khutbahs are stillborn.
Most Jum'ah Khutbahs are ineffective at best and dysfunctional and narcotizing at some of their worst.
Is it any surprise then that the Muslim Nation -- the global and divinely constituted Muslim Ummah -- is in the kind of disarray that it is?
Recently, I gave a Jum'ah Khutbah -- after much humming and hawing from the organizers -- in an Ivy League University.
In that Khutbah, I said, among other things, those who do not have a firm grasp of Arabic should not put themselves up as candidates to give Jum'ah Khutbah.
But the knowledge of Arabic, I pointed out was only a necessary and not a sufficient condition as a qualification to give Khutbah.
And I pointed out that both Abu Jahl and Abu Lahab knew Arabic well. But that does not qualify either one of them to give Khutbah.
And then I said, as a second requirement, those who give Khutbah on a university campus in a place like the United States should have a strong command of the English language, which, once again, is a necessary but not a sufficient condition in and of itself.
They should be able to speak English well, clearly, effectively and even eloquently. For, the Jum'ah Khutbah was a place and an occasion for some measured and effective eloquence.
And those who do not know Arabic well, as well as those who cannot speak English clearly and well enough, should be extremely hesitant to give the Khutbah.
For, the Jum'ah Khutbah is not just a "Holy Ritual," as some may say.
The Jum'ah Khutbah is, in fact, a most potent tool the Muslims have been given by God for their ongoing education, motivation and regeneration as a community or Jama'at and as an Ummah or a global nation of believers.
Jum'ah Khutbah at an Ivy League University: The Magic Powers and Potential of a Good Speech Dr. Pasha (Bringing Islam to the World One Concept at a Time! Taking the Qur'an to Every Home and...
As Goes the Jum'ah Khutbah, So Will Go the Ummah -- The Islamic Nation Dr. Pasha (Bringing Islam to the World One Concept at a Time! Taking the Qur'an to Every Home and Heart that Needs...
Jum'ah Khutbah is one of the most visible, and easily measurable, signs and indicators of the Islamic Nation's --Ummah's -- social-psychological-spiritual health and wellbeing.
And an accurate barometer of its rise and fall.
For, as the Jum'ah Khutbah goes, so is the Nation of Islam -- the Ummat -- likely to go.
And so are specific individual Muslim communities -- in each time and place.
As a result, saving the Jum'ah Khutbah in each and every community from decay and degeneration is not a luxury. It is a dire and urgent necessity.
Therefore, it is not a Fard Kifaayah to work to save the Jum'ah Khutbah, and to work to make it better in every conceivable and measurable way, it is a Fard Ayin.
Meaning, it is the personal and individual responsibility --Fard Ayin -- of every Muslim to work to make Jum'ah Khutbah the best it can be in each and every community.
And to work tirelessly to ensure that, in each and every community, the best Jum'ah Khutbah is delivered, by the best and the most capable people, in the best and most effective and eloquent language, and with the best and strongest content and style.
In other words, the bottomline is this:
Let Muslims in each and every community make the Jum'ah Khutbah rise from the dead --
from an empty ritual where it has now ended up in most places --
and Allah will breathe new life and vibrancy in this Ummat --
and in that community.
As surely as a downpour of rain from God Almighty
makes the parched earth rise from the dead and produce
the most lovely vegetables and fruits and flowers and grass.
Inna Dhaalika La-Muh-yil Mawutaa!
So indeed will God Almighty bring back to life
those that are dead!